5/1/2018 - City Manager Releases Statement on Library Cuts
In light of recent concerns regarding the city’s budget decreasing the Johnson Public Library's budget by 2.4 percent, Hackensack’s City Manager Ted Ehrenburg has released the following statement:
“While there always has been, and will continue to be, a great appreciation for all that the library provides for our community, every other department has gone through similar budget issues and had to do their share of belt-tightening. The library is no different.
"According to the library’s most-recent audit, they are holding $1,087,063.58 in unrestricted reserves and $963,857.72 in restricted reserves. This means the library holds approximately 33 percent of its operating budget in surplus. By contrast, the City holds about 10 percent of our operating budget in surplus - which Standard & Poor’s characterized as ’strong’ in their recent credit rating evaluation of the City’s finances. We believe this surplus would be better used to cover the costs of the library’s various programs, rather than held in reserve which no other department is permitted or allowed to have.
"Lastly, the library has regularly hosted various cultural and entertainment events over the years. With the opening of the Hackensack Performing Arts Center last fall, we feel the City would be better off consolidating some of these events and moving many of them to HACPAC to offset additional costs to the library.”